KDB+, Bangalore meetup, and more

Noticed a “kx community” appear on meetup, a few months ago, and decided to join that one. I was always intrigued by the language K, J, and subsequently Q. The accompanying database kdb+ is an interesting one too. This combination of languages and database has worked well in the time-series analysis domain. These product from Kx Systems – the company that provide K, Q, kdb+ – has consistently appeared on the STAC benchmarks for years now.

The terseness of the K, and Q languages and their performance capabilities were attractive propositions, to me. I didn’t have a sufficiently rich time-series analysis problem, to utilize the power of these languages.

Serendipitously, this meetup came along, and also a talk by a pharma company on their experience with using kdb+. I promptly decided to attend this talk, and get to know more about this kdb world.


The meetup was a good one – a room of 20plus participants, and the talk by Purdue Pharma turned out to be rather interesting too. They saw a drastic reduction in the infrastructure and people costs associated with time-series analysis, once they moved to kdb – less hardware, and reduced the team size to a couple of people (from a dozen or so previously). This was accompanied by a runtime performance boost of a couple of orders of magnitude. This seemed too good to be true – 100 times improvement in performance for a 5 times reduction in cost.

The rest of the talk focused on demonstrating this performance gain, and also how they went about integrating web technologies with kdb. Charting results using echarts (they had explored highcharts earlier, but settled on echarts because of its “efficiency & performance”. Something I heard, and am paraphrasing. Not something I have confirmed).

The kdb connectivity option with Javascript caught my attention, and it would be nice to run d3js against some of the kdb data (example of angular js with kdb).

kdb, in India

  • I suggested creating a MOOC / Coursera course, to make this knowledge more accessible (yes, the kx community exists and does a good job, but then most college graduates and people who want to learn usually would like some form of a MOOC – this has been my experience so far)
  • Talk or conduct a workshop at the Functional Conference 2015, in Bangalore. This conference is during Sep 10—13, 2015
  • More meetup talks, on kdb experiences, and also some hands-on sessions with the technology.